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5 October 2013

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The Needs to Adhere to the Tenets of Democracy in Nigeria

Democracy has been defined as the government of the people, for the people and by the people. From this popular definition of democracy, it is clear that this form of government revolves around the people.

With this, you will agree that democracy has been accepted globally as the best form of government. One of the major features of democracy is guaranteeing fundamental human rights of citizen. Of course, a long and enduring democracy recounts multiple dividends to its citizenry.

Theses rights includes the right to speech, association, movement, to vote and be voted for which has naturally accorded man.

This is why many nations have adopted democracy as a system of government. This is also why many analysts posit that the worst democracy is better than a bad military regime.

Nigeria discovered and embraced democracy long time ago. For instance, before the advent of colonialism, many traditional communities in the areas that became Nigeria practiced democracy at various levels.

At independence, democracy was institutionalised as a form of government. Since independence, Nigeria has been alternating between civil and military rules. This has obviously affected the development and practice of democracy.

That the nation’s democracy has had a check in history has not and should not be an excuse to disrespect the tenets of democracy.

One major challenge the nation has been grappling with is its quest to become truly democratic in the area of conduct of elections.

It is fast becoming a norm that controversies must trail elections in the country while other countries including the United State of America, which Nigeria’s democracy is modelled after, conducts elections without disagreement.

Nigerian elections are always followed by controversies especially from the defeated camp. Some of these controversies had impacted negatively on the socio-economic life of the nation and life and properties worth billions of naira are destroyed in conflict.

In other countries, elections are held with little or no negative stories to attract world attention. But in Nigeria, elections into the lowest levels of government draw world attention.

It is important to emphasize that in democratic setup, the majority will always have their way, but the minority will have their say.

It is therefore very important for contestants and their supporters to know that in any contest, a winner will emerge and a looser will also emerge.

The fact that one looses an election does not mean he or she cannot contest again or the whole world has come to an end. Good enough there no law that when one fails an election, he or she cannot contest again.

Best leaders around the word lost many times at different elections before winning eventually. For instance, one of America’s most influential presidents, Abraham Lincoln has lost  many elections at various levels before clinching that country’s presidency.

The win at all cost syndromes is not peculiar to politicians; it has taken over the psyche of many Nigerians. These has affected almost all sectors of national life

Politicians who loose election whip up sentiment to condemn the election. In sport, it is common to see a team that is defeated in a competition waging a fight against the opponent or the match officials.

The opposite is the case in other parts of the world where players exchange jersey and embrace each other at the end of the competition.

A one-time Prime Minister of Britain, Winston Churchill once noted that
success consist of going from failure to failure without lost of enthusiasm”.

An American writer – Anthony B. Angelo said
in order to succeed, you must fail so that you know what not to do the next time”.

These are wise says that should remain fresh on our mind. I think you should see failure in one election as a stepping stone to win the next.  Be courageous to contest for that office again and you will be glad you did.

Thank you for reading this post. For feedback, questions and contributions please refer to the comment sections below.      

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